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15 MAY 2011

The Horizon Digital Economy Research research centre

"Horizon will undertake a series of complementary experience projects to envision, create, deploy and study radical new services. Each experience project will involve a multidisciplinary team of technologists, human–scientists, domain experts and innovation facilitators working with users to explore technology, human and business issues in the real world.

The experience projects will include: Creative Visiting; The Connected Journey; Exposing the Footprint

The experience projects will bring into focus the fundamental principles of the underlying technologies, methods and theoretical understandings required to elaborate future services and develop sustainable systems for a digital economy.

Horizon will undertake research in the cross–cutting challenges underlying the digital economy–these will include: The Innovation Challenge; The Human Challenge; The Infrastructural Challenge."

(Horizon Research Institute)

Fig.1 Ben Bedwell VIPR2009 []

[The Horizon Digital Economy Research is based at the University of Nottingham, UK]



applied research • business issues • connected journey • creative visiting • devicedigital economydiscoverydomain expertseconomic changeengineeringenvisioningexperience project • exposing the footprint • fundamental principles • future services • Horizon Digital Economy Research • human challenges • human issues • human-scientists • infrastructural challenge • innovation • innovation challenge • innovation facilitators • interdisciplinarymultidisciplinarypervasive computing • radical new services • real worldresearch centresolution • sustainable systems • technologiestechnologists • technology issues • ubiquitous computingUKUniversity of Nottingham


Simon Perkins
07 MAY 2010

A naïve ontology for concepts of time and space for searching and learning

"User–oriented digital information search environments call for flexible information access interfaces that may interact with a dynamically changing searcher view in capturing a variety of media. Optimal use of conventional libraries and bibliographic databases requires a general understanding of the knowledge structure of the collection domain (Hsieh–Yee 1993; Pennanen & Vakkari 2003). Novice searchers without such understanding, however, can seek the help of librarians and intermediaries when they get lost in search processes.

Increasing numbers of digital libraries and online resources on the Internet provide potential users with opportunities to access and interact with these resources directly from offices and homes. Such trends seem to offer searchers useful information access environments for a variety of information resources. However, in such environments, novice searchers are forced to seek the information they need without the help of librarians or other intermediaries. In reality, many novice users of digital libraries do not have a general understanding of the knowledge structure of the digital collections held by these libraries. Eventually they may give up pursuing their information needs when they get lost during search processes or obtain unsatisfactory search results.

This research project seeks to find a way to overcome such limitations of existing information access interfaces developed for traditional libraries and bibliographic information services. Specifically, we explore a qualitative research method for eliciting the knowledge structure of novice searchers and patterns of its modification in their search and learn processes, and build on it a naïve ontology for time and space."

(Makiko Miwa & Noriko Kando, 2007)

Hsieh–Yee, I. (1993). Effects of search experience and subject knowledge on the search tactics of novice and experienced searchers. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 27(3), 117–120.

Miwa, M. and Kando, N. (2007). "A naïve ontology for concepts of time and space for searching and learning" Information Research, 12(2), paper 296 [Available at–2/paper296.html]

Pennanen, M. & Vakkari, P. (2003). Students' conceptual structure, search process and outcome while preparing a research proposal. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 54(8), 759–770.


2007access • bibliographic databases • bibliographycollectiondigital informationdigital librarydomain expertsflexibilityICTinformation access • information access interfaces • information in contextinformation servicesinteractionInternet • knowledge structure • library • naive ontology • novice • online resourcesontologyorderingpatternrepositoryresourcessearch • search environments • searchertaxonomyusabilityuser • user-oriented


Simon Perkins
26 NOVEMBER 2008

Knowledge Integration between Experts and Decision Makers

"Amidst the increasing complexity of markets, technologies, or consumer demands, ever more distributed expertise needs to be integrated for effective decision making. Consequently, the integration of knowledge becomes an important function for organizations [Grant 1996: 377]. Knowledge integration is the synthesis of individuals' specialized knowledge into situation–specific, systemic knowledge [Alavi and Tiwana 2002]. The aim of knowledge integration is not to minimize the knowledge gap between individuals, groups, or organizations, but to foster specialization while combining specialized knowledge in joint actions and decisions [Eisenhardt and Santos 2000]. Especially in complex, uncertain, and high–risk decision processes, managers need to draw on the specific knowledge of domain experts. Yet, the use of expertise is bound to cognitive, interactional, social, and political challenges that intervene in the decision making process [Eisenhardt and Zbaracki 1992]. In this paper, we focus on the interactional, i.e. communicative challenges of knowledge integration. By doing so, we aim to advance a communication perspective on knowledge management issues [see also: Mengis and Eppler 2005]. This perspective is based on the idea that we create, share, and integrate knowledge in social interactions [Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995] and that communication is therefore constitutive to knowledge processes. In the context of the expert–decision maker interaction, co–located conversations are the main communicative form through which knowledge is integrated. Conversations allow for high interactivity (participants can pose clarifying questions and ask for the larger context of a specific piece of information). The language and complexity of discourse can be finely aligned to the characteristics of the interlocutors [Krauss and Fussell 1991] and the para– and non–verbal cues facilitate the development of a common ground [Olson and Olson 2000], a prerequisite for mutual understanding.

On the other hand, conversations are ephemeral [Bregman and Haythornthwaite 2001] so that the major reasons and motivations behind the decisions taken are often poorly documented. They are bound to the linear flow of time, which limits comparisons of multiple variables and complex issues. Finally, conversations are often characterized by conversational patterns such as defensive arguing [Argyris 1996], unequal turn–talking [Ellinor and Gerard 1998], or dichotomous arguing [Tannen 1999].

In order to better utilize the potential of conversations for knowledge integration and to overcome the drawbacks and challenges that are bound to this communicational form, conversations can be supported by interactive visualization tools [Eppler 2005]. In this paper, we will hence discuss the role of collaborative visualization for knowledge integration by presenting an experimentally tested model."
(Jeanne Mengis & Martin J. Eppler, University of Lugano, Switzerland)


Simon Perkins

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